Your friend is an alcoholic.
An ex-convict and alcoholic, to be exact. Two years ago, he was arrested for multiple DUIs and an incident at a bar that ended in a black eye and bloody nose (and you should have seen the other guy.) Today, he’s living in a halfway house, trying to kick his addiction and take back his life.
Your friend is a drug addict.
He’s been living on the streets for years, buying and selling and getting high and crashing low. He comes to you every once in a while, and you clean him up, let him stay in your house, encourage him to get better. He never does–but you hope that someday, someday he might be receptive.
You love your friends.
They’re not perfect–oh, far from it–but neither are you.
“Your friend gets drunk, which is a sin! Do you want to be seen with him?”
Everyone sins. So should we then all avoid one another? Of course not. Your friend knows his drunkenness is a sin, and he’s working to break his habit–even though he is still tempted.
“That drug addict isn’t trying to get help! Why do you bother ministering to him?”
Why bother ministering to someone who’s broken? Because you know that God can do incredible things for his glory–he can cleanse of addictions, of sickness, of sin. To ignore “the least of these” for any reason is to doubt God’s power and to disobey his commands.
Why, then, is it any different when it comes to homosexuality?
Whether they’re ‘happily’ living in sin or trying to get help, these Eternally Treasured people are scoffed at, pointed towards, exemplified as the epidemic sweeping our nation, ready to corrupt our children with the “loose morals” that have plagued every generation in some way or another.
You can kick this becomes You’re living in sin, you know.
I can see how much it’s hurting you becomes Your lifestyle is an abomination.
Encouragement turns to scorn; help offered becomes a knife plunged.
If we can understand that our friend’s alcoholic temptation does not mean they aren’t trying and if we can understand that even the most hopeless drug addict still has a chance when God comes into the picture, then why, oh why, friends, do we not understand that there is no difference when it comes to any sin?
There is no room for homophobia in the Church.
None at all. We are not told to judge because of temptations. Everyone’s temptations are different. We are not called to hate because of sin. We are all sinners. We are not called to bigotry, slander, or malice.
Friends, what we are called to is love.
We are called to love our brothers–whether they struggle with alcohol, drugs, lying, controlling their tongue, or homosexuality. We are called to love when they know their mistake–and when they don’t. We are called to rebuke friends, gently, in love, to counsel in love, and to, above all, treat everyone with the dignity and respect that they deserve as a creation of God.
Treat homosexuality like you would any other temptation–not with contempt, animosity, or pride, but with the gracious understanding Christ has commanded us to give.
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said,“Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
John 8:7, 10-11